The 8 Best Eco-Friendly Pillows of 2021

Rest your head on these sustainable pillows for the best sleep of your life.

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

When was the last time you had a fabulous night of sleep? Adults need anywhere between seven to nine hours of sleep per night to contribute to their health and general wellness. An integral part of this routine is comfortable bedding, with pillows playing a starring role. A 2012 survey conducted by The National Sleep Foundation found that people considered a comfortable pillow more important to a good night's sleep than their sheets or blankets.

A great night's sleep can even be environmentally friendly, by picking a pillow with materials and certifications that indicate a minimal impact on communities, the environment and animals. But with so many pillow options out there, how do you find one that suits your sleep style?

We’ve shortlisted a variety of options for any sleeper's preference. Whether you’re looking for a firm, certified organic latex fill pillow, a breathable bamboo pillow, or a soft organic pillow, our picks will cradle your head and neck, support your spine and back, and let you sleep comfortably aligned, so that you wake up feeling refreshed.

Here are all the best eco-friendly pillows for a dreamy night of sleep.

The Rundown
With stellar certifications for organic materials, animal welfare and more, Avocado is our top pick.
Under the Canopy's down alternative, eco-friendly pillow delivers a good night's sleep at a great value to you and the planet.
Sleep doesn't get more cloud-like than this sumptuous, hotel quality down pillow.
All vegan, Rawganique's pillow is chemical-free, with no dioxin, bleach, dyes, formaldehyde, pesticides or GMO fibers.
The Naturepedic PLA Pillow with Organic Fabric combines a 300 thread count cotton cover with a non-toxic, polyester filling.
The Coyuchi Organic Latex Molded Pillow has a medium firmness and a molded structure designed for back and side sleepers.
Firm, and less compressible than down or foam, the Hullo Buckwheat Pillow conforms to the shape of your head.
Filled with a mix of memory foam and microfiber, the Coop Home Goods pillow conforms to you while providing loft and softness.

Best Overall: Avocado Green Pillow

Avocado Green Pillow

With stellar certifications for organic materials, good business practices, and animal welfare, Avocado’s green pillow is our pick for the overall best eco-friendly pillow. The pillow cover is made from quilted cotton that adheres to both the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and OEKO-TEX's Standard 100 certification, which tests for materials harmful to human health. The filling combines certified Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) shredded latex (tested by Germany's eco-INSTITUT laboratory) with GOTS certified kapok: a silky-soft, luxurious fiber similar to cotton. The result is a pillow with the squishiness of down and the resilience of foam.

It also comes with an extra bag of stuffing, so you can adjust the heft to your liking, or customize for a specific sleep position. Available in Standard, Queen and King sizes, the green pillow is a cool sleeper. What’s more, the pillow is MADE SAFE, Vegan, and GREENGUARD Gold certified. We also love that Avocado is a certified B Corp and Climate Neutral company, which crafts its products in facilities certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and powered by renewable-energy. Avocado also donates 1% of its corporate revenue to environmental nonprofits via the 1% for the Planet initiative. Truly, it’s a pillow made for green dreams.

Best Budget: Under the Canopy Down Alternative Pillow

Under the Canopy Down Alternative Pillow

Under the Canopy's down alternative, medium-fluffy, eco-friendly pillow delivers a good night's sleep at a great value to both you and the planet. Available in Standard and King sizes, this cruelty-free and vegan pillow swaps the feathers for recycled materials. Suitable for all styles of sleepers, the pillow has a shell made from OEKO-TEX certified cotton and stuffing made from Global Recycled Standard certified polyester. Under the Canopy's down alternative is washing machine safe and can be tumble dried on low settings, making it easy to clean too.

Best Splurge: Sol Organics Down Pillow

Sol Organics Down Pillow

Sleep doesn't get more cloud-like than this sumptuous, hotel quality down pillow. Sol Organics combines organic cotton with responsibly sourced down, making this an eco-friendly, albeit non-vegan, pick. The shell is made from Fair Trade and GOTS certified organic cotton, while the filling is Responsible Down Standards certified down sourced from Canadian Hutterite farms. The Sol Organics Down Pillow comes in Standard and King sizes, both of which are available in firmness options customized to stomach, back and side sleepers. A premium ticket to slumberland, you can try out the Sol Organics Down Pillow for 30 days before committing.

Best Vegan: Rawganique South Carolina 100% Organic Cotton Bed Pillow

Rawganique South Carolina 100% Organic Cotton Bed Pillow

The South Carolina 100% Organic Cotton Bed Pillow is most remarkable for all that it doesn't have. All vegan, Rawganique's pillow is chemical-free, with no dioxin, bleach, dyes, formaldehyde, pesticides or GMO fibers. This makes the South Carolinian a fantastic hypoallergenic option. Both the pillow’s casing and batting is made from organic cotton grown in the United States. Rawganique's 100% Organic Cotton Bed Pillow comes in a variety of configurations, including three sizes, three choices of loft, and an optional cotton, linen or hemp pillowcase. You can even get it without a zipper.

Best Organic: Naturepedic PLA Pillow with Organic Fabric

Naturepedic PLA Pillow with Organic Fabric

The Naturepedic PLA Pillow with Organic Fabric combines a 300-thread count cotton cover with a filling of PLA, a non-toxic polyester fiber made from non-GMO sugarcane. Naturepedic's pillows are created under a variety of environmentally friendly certifications, including Organic Content Standard 100 cotton, a non-toxic MADE SAFE seal of approval and GREENGUARD Gold's low chemical emissions standards. Naturepedic has also joined with 1% for the Planet to donate a portion of corporate revenue to environmental non-profits. The Naturepedic PLA Pillow comes in three different sizes, with a fourth "low fill" option, for anyone looking for a little less loft.

Best Natural Latex: Coyuchi Organic Latex Molded Pillow

Coyuchi Organic Latex Molded Pillow

The Coyuchi Organic Latex Molded Pillow has a medium firmness and a molded structure designed for back and side sleepers. Made from organic, GOLS certified Dunlop latex, Coyuchi's molding process shapes biodegradable latex rubber into a contoured pillow that is meant to give like down while maintaining a structured shape, unlike more malleable shredded latex alternatives. Coyuchi describes their springy latex pillow as well-suited for stacking and folding, so you can create the perfect support.

The latex insert is also breathable, with air holes throughout the foam. The non-removable pillow protector surrounding the latex insert is made of jersey knit organic cotton. Available in Standard, King, and Queen sizes, the Coyuchi Organic Latex Molded Pillow comes with a GOTS certified organic cotton sateen pillow protector.

Best Buckwheat: Hullo Buckwheat Pillow

Buckwheat Pillow

Hullo's comfortable pillow is stuffed with thousands of air-cleaned buckwheat hulls grown and milled in the United States. Firm, and less compressible than down or foam, the Hullo Buckwheat Pillow conforms to the shape of your head. It's a unique combination of malleability and firmness that Hullo compares to a bean bag. The non-compressing hulls also allow for even airflow throughout the pillow, retaining less body heat than many alternatives.

Hullo's pillows arrive fully stuffed, allowing you to open the auto-locking zipper and scoop out filling to the desired level. The Hullo Buckwheat Pillow comes in three sizes, each with an organic cotton twill pillow cover. Buckwheat pillows make little rustling sounds that can take a little getting used to, but you can try out the Hullo Buckwheat Pillow for 60 nights with a money-back guarantee.

Best Bamboo: Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow

Coop Home Goods Original Pillow

The Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow blends multiple materials to find a middle ground between give and support, then wraps it all in a breathable combination of polyester and bamboo-derived rayon they call Lulltra. Filled with a hypoallergenic mix of cross-cut memory foam and microfiber, the Coop Home Goods pillow shapes itself to your sleep position while providing a loft and softness not found in pillows made entirely of memory foam. More firm than down, Coop Home Goods describes its adjustable pillow as best suited for back and side sleepers, with both Queen and King size options.

The Coop Home Goods pillow won't produce any of the smells or off-gassing that sometimes accompanies foam pillows, since it boasts both GREENGUARD Gold and CertiPUR-US certifications, guaranteeing a pillow free of ozone-depleting chemicals, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and chemical fire retardants. It comes with half a pound of extra filling, so you can adjust the loft before you snuggle to sleep. Coop also offers a generous 100-night sleep trial, so you won't lose any sleep over this purchase.

Final Verdict

When it comes to eco-friendly pillows, look no further than the Avocado Green Pillow (view at Avocado), which comes with all the right credentials. Under the Canopy’s down alternative (view at Under the Canopy) is a great affordable alternative, offering a medium-plush pillow that’s suitable for all styles of sleepers.

What to Look for in an Eco-Friendly Pillow

When your favorite pillow loses its loft, you know it’s time for an upgrade. Here are some considerations to make before diving into your search for the perfect eco-friendly pillow.

Sleep Style

Keeping your cervical spine (the seven spinal column bones in your neck) properly aligned can improve your quality of sleep, so it's important to find the best pillow for your style of sleeping. If you snuggle on your side, look for a lofty pillow that’s firm, to support the higher resting position of your neck. Stomach sleepers should instead opt for a slim, flat pillow, while back sleepers should look in between, picking a higher loft than stomach sleepers to hold the back of their head in an aligned position. Many companies offer pillows whose fillings can be adjusted and offer generous trial periods, so you can try out what feels best for you.

Materials

While some manufacturers use both the same material for their pillow casings and the batting inside, others mix and match materials to bring out various benefits. This means that a pillow's filling may well be eco-friendly, but the fabric surrounding it may not, making it worthwhile to check every part of its construction. Materials in eco-friendly pillows can include natural latex, kapok, recycled polyester, buckwheat and organic cotton.

Certifications

Certifications can enhance your confidence in environmental claims made my pillow makers, demonstrating that a third-party has evaluated their materials, supply chain and manufacturing techniques. Here are some common certifications you may see affiliated with our pillow picks and other eco-friendly products.

CertiPUR-US: This certification applies to foam products, and tests for emissions, durability and other qualities. A CertiPUR-US certification means that your pillow will be free of ozone-depleting chemicals, phthalates, mercury, lead, and toxic flame retardants. With this certification, you can feel confident that your new pillow won't damage your indoor air quality.

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): Combining both ecological and labor criteria, the Global Organic Textile Standard validates products that use more than 70% organic fibers, with certified organic pillows achieving over 95%. Investigating every stage in the supply chain and manufacturing process, GOTS ensures against pesticides, herbicides, GMOs, and unethical labor practices.

Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS): Similar to GOTS, but covering latex, pillows that have GOLS certified organic latex guarantees that more than 95% of the latex materials used meet their standards. From the rubber plantations through to emission tests of finished products, the Global Organic Latex Standard is a thorough indication that any latex contained in your pillow will be eco-friendly.

GREENGUARD Gold: This certification means that a pillow has low levels of formaldehyde or so-called VOCs: volatile organic compounds. Gold certification means your new pillow is unlikely to off-gas unpleasant smells and chemicals.

OEKO-TEX: Offering certification for leather and textile goods, OEKO-TEX certifications include Made in Green, which indicates products manufactured "using sustainable practices and under socially responsible working conditions.” More well-known is their Standard 100 certification, which validates that a product is made entirely of materials independently tested for harmful substances. With a Standard 100 certified pillow you can feel confident that its component fabrics, stuffings and even stitching is "harmless for human health."

Why Trust Treehugger?

Creating this list may have required a lot of naps, but finding dreamy pillows that are earth-friendly, ethically made and long-lasting also involved comprehensive market research. Our extensive experience in eco-friendly materials and best practices lead us to pillows with robust certifications and exceptional standards.

Author Neeti Mehra writes about sustainability, and also runs a platform that promotes slow and mindful living. Her pillow collection includes a body pillow, several cushions and a number of standard pillows of varying lofts and stuffing, strategically placed for a good night of sleep.

View Article Sources
  1. "2012 Bedroom Poll." National Sleep Foundation.

  2. Ren S, Wong DWC, Yang H, Zhou Y, Lin J, Zhang M. "Effect of pillow height on the biomechanics of the head-neck complex: investigation of the cranio-cervical pressure and cervical spine alignment." PeerJ. 2016;4:e2397. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.2397